Pantry Challenge Week 2

So, we are still theoretically on the pantry challenge. I am really trying to eat from the pantry and follow my meal plan but life has been throwing me some serious curve balls this week. For example, I ate out twice on Friday...so here I was going to type to you an excuse about it being a long week but even sounded pathetic while I was formulating it.  I honestly was not accountable to myself or you about my challenge.

Let me tell you about the shining star at our house, Mr. C. He followed the plan, cooked entirely from the pantry on his night, and stayed at home all day with Miss G when the sitter couldn't watch her on Friday. Yup, he's husband of the week. =)

 (No sarcasm I really mean that he is I just LOVE this picture. I know that little people model big people but even at this age?)

I can tell you that I spent about $40 between the organic grocery store and Target and it was because I was stocking up on foods for Miss G. She doesn't eat exclusively organic but follows the contaminated list from the environmental working group.

Basically if it's in the clean 15 I will purchase at Aldi but if it's the dirty dozen I go ahead and get it at Earthfare or Publix's greenwise line. I can tell you that this has effected our budget and anyone who tells you differently is just not telling you the truth.

Isn't funny how much your priorities change when you have a kid? Do I care if I'm eating pesticides? A little but not enough to pay the increased price for organics. Do I care if Miss G eats them? Oh yes. Yes I do.

So, how do I navigate this process of buying smart organics? Well, I was carrying the list with my coupons and that worked but I would keep searching for it. Then I made a list on my phone BUT now I have recently seen on the environmental working group's website they have apps for your phone. LOVE IT. This will streamline the necessary shopping SO much.

Back to the challenge I will say that this week cooking wise was kitchen disasters. I'm talking ruining meals and breaking multiple dishes. I'm proud during this I actually adapted and made Pasta Roni from our pantry rather than run for the border like I wanted to.

I did make this kale soup which was really good and I will definitely make again.

Oh, not food related but definitely frugal, and I got some Fabulous prices at Target Toy Clearance, not too much for Miss G but all the other kiddos I buy for are set for 2012 birthday and Christmas gifts. YAY!

*One last but not least thing. Happy Birthday Mom!!!! It's my mom's birthday today and I have to say this year I definitely have a increased appreciation for all the time when I was young she spent taking care of us. My mom worked, made sure my sister and I were loved, and couponed before it was cool. I think I'm now in awe about how she juggled all of these things. Happy birthday to my mom and aunt. she's a twin you know. =)

For them I made Southern Plate's Chocolate Velvet Cake with Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Icing. Not as good as Christy's but hopefully it'll do. =)


Cherry said...

Visiting from Good Cheap Eats - interesting chart about the "Clean 15" and "Dirty Dozen". Thanks for sharing this!

Donelle said...

Organic foods also have a lot more in the way of vitamins, usually about 40% more, so another way to think about this is for foods that aren't organic, you have to buy and eat 40% more to get the same nutritional benefit.

Donelle said...

I also follow the dirty dozen. This must be updated since the last time I looked at it, because I swore last year cherries were on the list. Anyway, I have been on the lookout for cheaper organics from the dirty dozen. Costco has organic apples, although I can usually find those on sale for a good price anyway. Frozen organic berries are also way cheaper than getting them fresh, and costco has 3 lb bags of organic frozen raspberries. They might also have frozen cherries, I don't remember. Here it is really expensive to get sweet peppers in the grocery store organic, but when they are in season they are much more affordable to get at the farmer's market, so we always try to buy lots in season to freeze. If you need to get them at the store, Whole Foods has a frozen Southwestern Blend of chopped red peppers, green peppers and onions that is the best buy I've found. BTW, spinach and lettuce are super easy to grow in your garden (I recommend Japanese giant spinach and valentine mesclum salad mix). They are spring vegetables that tolerate temperatures in the upper 20s, so you start them around February (when the heat comes, they're done). They're the most successful things we grew last year and we were always trying to figure out what to do with them next! It might also be possible for you to have a peach tree there and NOW is the time to plant. You'll probably have to wait a few years for production, but I'm sure it would payoff. We don't have room for large trees, so we planted blackberry bushes instead (they'd grow great for you but might takeover in Alabama).Speaking of which, I googled quickly and found a central Alabama gardening calendar http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-0047/ANR-0047.pdf